Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Uses For My Old Jeans

I'm one of those people who saves those old jeans that don't fit anymore, because I am bound and determined to squeeze my (now mom sized) butt back into them. My daughter is now four and I still am not down to the size I was pre-pregnancy.  I'm still not giving up though; I'm soooo close.

I actually managed to get an older pair of my stretch jeans on this week! Victory!  The only problem was the two small tears near the butt pockets.  Well I really like the jeans, and I was too happy about them fitting to get rid of them, so I decided to patch them up.

Once that task was completed, I had the leftovers of another pair of ripped jeans and an idea.

I was finally going to make a denim rug.  I have been wanting to make one for years, and I finally got the ambition to start cutting up the pants and make some "yarn" from them.

I found a few other pairs that had been so ripped/damaged that they had made it to my craft pile a while back.  I began cutting strips from the pant legs, saving the tops of the pants for other future projects, and connecting the strips to roll into "yarn" balls.

Once I had two pairs of pants rolled up, I began.  Using my jumbo Q hook, I got to it.

I will say that I can only work on this for a short time, as it hurts my hands, but it is coming along quite nicely.

I also probably should not cut jeans atop my white down comforter, which I learned the hard way.  My bed is covered in fuzzy denim lint.  Jeans shed like crazy and get quite messy.

So I am now about 6-7 pairs of jeans in, measuring at about 26", and I have two more long denim skirts to add.  I am now hunting for some more jeans, because I swear those 3 pairs of size 6 jeans sitting on my shelf WILL fit again someday soon.  A few friends are sending their old ones my way and then it looks like I will be thrift shopping in the coming weeks.

I haven't decided how big I want to make it, or whether I will keep it, sell it, or gift it, but I'm going to keep going for a while.

I'm also thinking up different ways to use up all of the jean pieces.  Why waste them?

So, I think I will use the thick seams that I didn't incorporate into the rug to make some denim trivets.  They look kind of cute.  Could make some fun holiday gifts.

The next few pictures are just some inspiration from Pinterest.

With all of the back pockets I have left over, I should be able to put one of these bad boys together.  Of course, I am not a huge fan of sewing, and I have to really be in the mood for it to take on a project like this, but I would love to have one of these.  Wouldn't you?

I like how they're all slightly askew in the top photo.  They are far more uniform in the bottom picture, and I don't know which I like more.  I'm thinking the above version might be a bit more forgiving of my sewing skills.

And how cute is this little bib?!

I absolutely love this idea (also found on Pinterest) and think I might need to make one for friends who are expecting a baby boy in the spring.

Hoping I can acquire enough denim to finish my rug soon, and I'm thinking a tutorial may be in order.

What are your favorite ways to reuse your jeans?  I know there are so many options and I'd love some more ideas!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

To Knit or Knot To Knit?

I have been a crocheter for several years now, and I love it!  I love that the possibilities are endless, you're never done learning, there's always a new stitch or technique to play with, and there are more patterns than I could ever possibly have the time to make.  That's not even counting all of the pattern ideas in my head just waiting to be written down.

That being said, I find myself just wishing that I could knit.

I look online on places like Pinterest, Facebook, and Ravelry, and I wish that I could make these gorgeous knits.

I've created an entire Pinterest board devoted to all of the things I wish I could knit.  These are just a few of them.

....And these adorable stuffies!  How cute is this bunny and doll?  Yes, I crochet stuffies (amigurumi), but theres's just something so sweet about these knit versions.

There are beautiful children's sweaters, that I think my daughter would look oh so sweet in......

I just love this one above, by The Velvet Acorn!  I still need to try a few of her crochet patterns that have
been on my ravelry favorites list for ages (see earlier comment on not enough time for all the patterns I want to make).

So after picking up, and quickly putting down the needles several times before, I decided to really give it my all this week.  I was determined to get past the cast on and actually finish a swatch, binding off and everything.

And you know what?  I did it!

I made a couple of small swatches, practicing both knit and purl stitches and binding off.  So far that's all I know how to do, but it's a start, and it's a lot better than my previous attempts.

Want to know what made the difference this time?  You Tube video tutorials by Chandi of Expression Fiber Arts.  I used You Tube in the past, but just couldn't find someone who explained it well enough.  Not only were her instructions clear and easy to follow, but Chandi's bubbly personality makes learning to knit fun.

So today I practiced knitting washcloths, because if I'm going to be practicing making swatches, I might as well make something useful.  Right?

My daughter claimed this one for her own.  She's convinced that everything I make should be hers, and usually it is.

So I'm going to make several more of these and keep trying different stitches.  I like the look and feel of a knit washcloth (perhaps even more than the crocheted ones I've made in the past), so it will be good practice and provide me with a new set of washcloths.  Maybe even some Christmas pressies!

After that will be learning to knit on circulars, which I find quite terrifying.

And one day, maybe I will be able to make this beauty........

Friday, October 10, 2014

Apple Picking Time!

I love fall!  My absolute favorite season by far!  The best weather, colors, clothes, food, etc.  It's that time when I can start busting out the crochet wear like hats, scarves, and sweaters, and I can start making more ;-)

It's also apple picking season.  

After weeks of my daughter being sick (the one very big flaw of the season is the constant colds, flu, and stomach bugs) and then passing her lovely cold onto me, we finally got to go apple picking this week!
We went with friends to a new orchard that we'd never tried before, and were the only ones there  (one of the benefits to going during the week).  It was a gorgeous day, though a little windy, but perfect fall weather.

Love watching the kids walking through the orchard, looking for the perfect trees.

 My little "apple" wanted to wear the apple hat that I made her two years ago.  Good thing I made it big with some stretch.  It still fits and she looks adorable picking apples in it.  I may be biased though.

 There were low enough branches for the kids to pick their own, and my daughter helped me pick a bunch to fill our bag.

Here we are trying to find the best apples without "yucky spots", as my daughter says.

 Love this picture of my daughter in the apple tree.  She's also sporting a fall themed capped sleeve cardigan with corn and pumpkin buttons that I made for her.

My cutie pie attempting to lift our haul of apples.  Boy was it a long walk back carrying that!  She decided to just carry the apple she was eating ;-)

She found the "perfect" pumpkin and just had to have it.  It has a bunch of little bumps that look like witch warts, so I think we're going to paint it green and make a witch this year.  For all my crafty abilities, I was never good at pumpkin carving.

It was a great day with friends, and we now have a giant 1/2 bushel of apples to make all of those recipes I have been pinning on Pinterest for the past two weeks.  This weekend we'll start with caramel apple cookie bars, crock pot apple oatmeal, and pork tenderloin with apple slices.
Perhaps I'll share our baking adventures here.....

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's Been A While

It has been quite some time since I've posted here.  This year has been filled with many big changes in my life, and time just kind of got away from me.
Now divorced and a single mom of a four year old, life is filled with many activities, work, and responsibilities.  My little crafting business, including my online shops, website, blog, and even crochet itself, took a back burner to life.
Things are finally starting to fall into place and I'm adjusting to my new routine.  Life is good.  It's hectic and overwhelming at times, but it's good.
I have been crocheting more and more lately (many projects and new patterns to come into the next year), taking the time to relax and read a book or two (more like a series or two), and have rediscovered my love of cooking.  In the coming weeks I hope to start posting a bit more regularly, bringing you new items, recipes, kids crafts, book recommendations and more!
I am also making some changes to my blog and soon after, my website.  I have been toying with the idea of a new name for the blog (though probably not the business, as it seems to complicated).  If you have any ideas for a new name, please comment and share.
Time for a change!  I'm  happy to get started and excited to see what's in store!
Be back soon!

Friday, May 30, 2014

A New Top and A Little Competition

Well, it has indeed been a while since I last posted here.  I truly had the best intentions at year's start, but alas, this is my first post in nearly 6 months!  Life has most definitely been hectic as of late, and things are finally calming down enough to take a little time to test new patterns, work on some that I have bought (, and perhaps work on my own designs too.  I have a whole notebook full that just need a little time and energy.  And of course, there is now a little time to blog.

As many of you may know, my favorite designer, Mon Petit Violon, is having a little competition on her blog.  The rules are simple: choose your favorite of her patterns, make it, photograph it, and email it in.  There is also the social media part of promoting this fabulous contest as well.  
And the prize?
6 months free subscription to her patterns!!!!!
Definitely incentive for me to finish this cute little top I had started for my daughter and do a little blogging.
The pattern I used was the Halter Ruffle Dress, and though I made it as a top and left off the ruffle, I am in love with this design!  I will definitely be making another as a ruffled dress, perhaps in purple and green, or maybe navy and white (I do love that nautical look).  Truly, I was going to add the ruffle, but my daughter HAD to wear it the very minute I had the side seams
I am glad she loves it as much as I do; it's so adorable.
 I had originally planned on the orange only being on the collar and ruffle (that I later left off), however I knew there wouldn't be enough blue without a trip to the craft store, so I added the stripes of orange to the front.  I am sooooo pleased with the result.
 Due to the stitching, the rows become wavy lines, which really pop with the color change.  It's a beautiful technique, and I think it can be better seen and appreciated with this color change.

My little cutie loved posing in her new top.  The only problem is picking a photo to send in.
Crochet Patterns By Mon Petit Violon's facebook page will announce the photos she has selected and the voting will take place in June.
If you love this top as much as I do, please stop by and vote for me, if chosen.  Thanks so much!
Happy crocheting!